Can Buffalo do it? More importantly, can Shredd and Ragan do it?
After witnessing all of the hype surrounding Dyngus Day, 103.3 The Edge's Shredd and Ragan began to hatch a plot. If a 'B-list' holiday such as Dyngus Day could suddenly catapult to infamy, then maybe they could use a similar formula to see if they could get another 'B-list' holiday off the ground. That's when they thumbed through the calendar and realized that Arbor Day was right around the corner. That's it... Arbor Day!
The first thing that the on-air team did was to research where Buffalo's tree district was. At the time (last week) there wasn't one. "We needed a tree district," Tom Ragan told me. "So we figured that the oldest tree in the city would naturally be where the tree district would be. That tree is in Allentown... and from here on out the Arbor District of Buffalo is in Allentown. Now that we have an official district, we need to have a celebration..."
And that's how it all started. Some day you can regale your grandchildren with this story when they ask how The Biggest Arbor Day Party in America came to be.
No celebration is complete without having a celebratory toast at a local pub. In the case of the Arbor Day party, it was decided that honorable pub should be in close proximity to the oldest tree (located on Franklin). "We chose Fat Bob's," Tom continued. "I called up over there and told them that they would be headquarters for the Arbor Day parade and party and the guy said, "Huh?" After explaining, then re-explaining, he finally understood what I was getting at. It wasn't long after, that he began to get into it."
Now that the party headquarters had been decided upon, the next task was to come up with a parade route. "We figured that we would keep it simple and have the parade go down Virginia Place, up to Delaware, over to Allen Street, and then back down Virginia Place," Tom laughed. "In other words... around the block."
Next Friday, April 27, 2012, party and parade-goers will meet up at Fat Bob's before joining the Arbor Day procession starting at 8am. Fat Bob's will be donating 25% of beer sales to the Olmsted Parks. The celebration is scheduled to last as long as people stay to party (I would think all day)... maybe next year they will close down the street and turn it into a block party! Since this is an upper case 'B' holiday, there is no need to go to work on that day. Instead you should start the day off right with a beer and a parade... and a blessing of the trees. Wear appropriate attire. There will be costumes, an appearance by Miss Arbor Day, beer, a live 103.3 The Edge broadcast, PBR-borday merchandise, a moment of silence for the October Storm, tree races, a leaf eating contest and a prize for the best looking shrubbery - one that looks nice, and not too expensive... and there will be no cutting down any trees with a herring!
Proceeds from the Arbor Day celebration will benefit the Olmsted Park's Conservancy's ReLeaf effort. Anyone looking to enhance the effort in a tree-related way, please send an email to Tom Ragan.
Re-published with permission from Buffalo Rising, your guide to Buffalo NY news, arts, events & Buffalo restaurants.